Personal and Physical Security

Don’t Let Scammers Get Too Close


Not all cybercrimes start out online. In fact, many begin with a simple, deceptive act that sets the groundwork for a later attack. Thieves use these tricks to gain access to secure areas and sensitive information. But you can stop them in their tracks by understanding how they work.


Top five tactics scammers use to gain access—beware of these usual suspects!





Badging is the act of using a stolen or fake identification badge to appear legitimate. Be wary of individuals with badges that don’t seem right. The picture may not match or the details may be off. If you suspect badging, notify security immediately. Let security know, too, if you lose your badge or find some else’s so they can follow up quickly.



Piggybacking is when a thief enters a secure door on someone else’s card swipe. The criminal slips in before the door closes or pretends they forgot their badge. They may even appear with packages hoping your good nature will lead you to help them in. Once inside, they blend in, steal what they’re looking for, and then leave. You can prevent piggybacking the following four ways:

  1. Make sure your badge is only used to admit you into secure areas.
  2. Refuse entry to unfamiliar individuals who don’t have badges.
  3. If someone suspicious does badge in, politely challenge their intentions and notify security.
  4. Keep an eye out for doors propped open, a sign that criminals may have badged in and intend to return

Rogue Devices

Rogue Devices are those left behind by criminals that are designed to compromise your organization. Be on the lookout for technology that doesn’t belong such as laptops, USB sticks or wifi access points. If you see any of these, immediately alert your IT and security teams to investigate.



Impersonation is when thieves gain access by pretending to be someone else. Whether it’s a flower deliverer or building inspector, it’s always a role that seems legitimate. Ask for credentials in these situations. If they can’t provide them or if you suspect something isn’t right, notify security.


Shoulder Surfing

Shoulder surfers are thieves who hover nearby attempting to steal sensitive information. They may watch you enter a password on your laptop or phone or read your texts or email messages. You can stop them by being aware of your surroundings and taking extra steps to shield your most sensitive data.


Don’t Forget

Protecting company information starts with you. One of the easiest way to prevent access is to lock your computer screen when not in use. Knowing your company’s procedure for recovering data in the case of theft or disaster is also critical.


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